The Top Ten Reasons Why Being Pregnant is Awesome

Even I’m getting sick of my whining about child-bearing. In order to practice more positive thinking, I decided to look on the bright side of life. Here are my Top Ten Reasons Why Being Pregnant is Awesome:

10. I always have something to complain about.
If I’m sitting in company or just drooling at the kitchen table, I can pipe in with, “Had more heartburn today.” When meeting someone new and answering their, “I didn’t know you were pregnant. So, how do you feel?,” I have a ready-made list of maladies.

9. If I’m looking for social cred, all I need is a pregnancy or birth announcement.
Not that I pay for analytics, but my top posts on TwoFaceBook are announcements of child-bearing and -birthing sorts. Nine months of fun is a low price to pay for artificial popularity, right?

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8. I get special treatment whenever I play The Pregnancy Card.
We purchased a used desk when I was just coming off bed rest in June. As I took the stairs one at a time in the woman’s house where we picked it up, I explained about my condition. She wouldn’t even hear of my helping to carry the desk out to the car.
Now if only I could get free food from restaurants for flashing my tummy, I’d be set.

7. I can sleep anywhere, at anytime.
Weeeelll, I actually can’t sleep at bedtime, lying down. Still, it’s a handy skill during school performances and boring conversations. And, because of Reason #8, the person talking doesn’t get offended.

6. I get to wear overlarge, comfortable clothes.
I expect that, by 30 weeks, no one will bat an eye when I walk around in a muumuu.

5. Literally any other woman who’s had a baby wants to give me a hug on a hard day.
One difficult day after dropping my oldest at karate, I drove to the nearest grocery store and miserably shuffled around trying to find an edible food item. I ended up at the deli counter staring morosely at the chicken tenders. After I explained my condition to the older woman working there, she said, “You poor dear. I remember those days!”
Pregnancy is a camaraderie sort of thing.

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4. I do not have to diet.
Obviously I should not go overboard and assume that all-you-can-eat applies to every meal, but taking dieting off the table has been wonderful.

3. I do not have to exercise.
Yes, exercise is important. Yes, many women run a marathon whilst expecting. The general rule is to continue at the activity level one was at before impregnation which, for bed rested me, was not much. I’ve been thinking about it as the Couch2Bed Program.

2. I get an easy excuse for anything.
This is pretty much like #8, but applied all across the board. Dropped my glass? Forgot shoes? Late by two hours? Sorry; pregnant.

1. If all goes well, I get a baby at the end.
I’m just going to insert a few, cute stock photos here.

Not everyone can get pregnant, I know. For those who’ve done it and now wonder what they’ve gotten into, I hope I’ve given you a bit to think about besides heartburn as well.

Now, go take that nap. Eat that bag of chips. Forget that train of thought. You’ve got a baby to make!

Baby

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Sunday, July 28: “Why the Heck Would Anyone Get Pregnant?,” a post discussing the reason for impregnating and birthing.

Monday, July 29: Wrote “Pregnancy Limerick.”

Tuesday, July 30: Shared an inspirational image from Pinterest about motherhood.

Wednesday, July 31: Recommended watering down juices.

Thursday, August 1: “Frugal Decorating,” a snippet about the unintentional side effects of decoration neglect.

Friday, August 2: Thought about life goals and housework in, “The Dishes and Other Evils.”

Saturday, August 3: Shared The Mum Bum‘s tweet about pregnancy.

Sunday, August 4: That’s today!

 

Photo Credits:
Suhyeon Choi
Nicole Honeywill
Unsplash
Unsplash
Chayene Rafaela
Filip Mroz

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

The Dishes and Other Evils

D’ya know that question everyone likes to ask children?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

There’s a trend lately of adults complaining about no direction in life. To be funny, they/we have coined the term ‘adulting.’ I see t-shirts with the word on it, as in “Adulting is Hard,” or “Tried Adulting Today / Gave Up.”

Adulting
From Amazon, yo.

Why are we all so bummed out about responsibility? My theory is that others have discovered what I did once I moved out: my life goal could never work. See, what I wanted to ‘be’ when I grew up was a lazy sod. I wanted to never have to do chores again.

Whenever my parents assigned us clothes-folding (my own!), dishes-washing (after my mom made dinner every night!), or sock-mating (which we were paid to do!); I assumed they were sadistic monsters whose only desire was to watch us squirm and suffer. It never occurred to me that chores needed to be done. Certainly I never thought I contributed to a mess that needed cleaning.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m as intelligent as I hope.

Because, well…. I still hold out for my goals. I still want to do what I want while someone else gets dirty. Let me tell you, nothing builds resentment quite as quickly as unreasonable expectations.

But I’ve got some working solutions, like:

  1. Training the kids for their own future lives  (AKA hounding the kids every few minutes to do their chores).
  2. Explaining to my husband and ‘help-meet’ that maintaining a house and family is a team effort (AKA nagging).
  3. Hiring out work when we can afford it (AKA asking for a day’s maid as a birthday present).
  4. Accepting how things are (AKA giving up, piling up, until blowing up and cleaning the house top to bottom).

Good thing there’s chocolate.

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

How to Love a Prickly Child

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Trying to show love to a difficult child is a lot like hugging a cactus. You know he wants love, he feels upset and wants to be loved, and yet…

Not all children are receptive to hugs and kisses, or even a pat on the shoulder. When my second son is agitated, a light touch is met with a dramatic pulling away. Begging and pleading are to no avail. A slow walk toward him leads to his hiding himself under furniture and, if I keep trying, exaggerated threats and outbursts.

“Maybe I should jump out the window since you don’t want to see me anymore!”

“You are always picking on me and you never punish my brothers!”

“No, you don’t! You don’t love me!”

Granted, my son has a handful of autistic tendencies and these are some of them. I have four boys, though, and they all have periods of similar distress. So, what’s a mom to do?

Besides crying inside and eating chocolate, I’ve developed a few ways of talking to agitated children:

  1. Patience. In fact:
  2. Patience.
  3. Patience.
  4. Patience.
  5. Kind tone, even when my child is being a straight-up jerk and starts trying personal insults.
  6. Distraction: humor, favorite things, outside topics of interest, or a play date with a friend.
  7. Coping strategies we’ve learned in therapy; like breathing techniques, refocusing, calm spots, CBT, etc.
  8. Food! When I keep hitting a brick wall, I’ll subtly get a favorite snack and ensure he eats it.
  9. Rest. No one’s too old for a nap.
  10. Change of location. Drives are nice. So are walks.

For me, I need to remind myself throughout our conversations that my children have no filter. When they feel deeply, they speak deeply. I hurt when I hear them tell me mean things. Some days I get overwhelmed and spend a few hours at night hiding in the closet. Hopefully I am not the only parent who feels that way.

But in the end, I am their mother. I am the person who will teach and mold and influence these sociopaths into more reasonable members of society.

And I really do love them. They need to know that in any way I can tell them.

 

Photo Credit:
Stephanie Harvey

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

No One Likes the Dentist, But Some Kids Have Special Needs

Two of my sons are more reactive to life than the other two. The older has an official diagnosis of ADD/ADHD and the younger has ADD and OCD. Both also, whether related to those conditions or separate, have a few autistic tendencies.

How do I know? I’ve talked to their pediatrician about it. I’ve talked to the special education coordinators at their school. I have also read other parents’ experiences online. Two, in particular, are Robyn over at Autism in Our Nest and Gary at Bereaved and Being a Single Parent.

They write about events in their family’s lives in an open and honest way. Robyn has shared how her autistic son and daughter react to what some people consider ‘normal’ life situations. Gary has shared his son’s stresses with ‘normal’ challenges, especially at school. Both have been a wonderful source of information, especially since many websites that list common symptoms only list them -they don’t talk about how, exactly, that symptom plays out somewhere like the dentist office.

Ah, the dentist. No one likes the dentist.

Unfortunately, the scariness of fillings and cleanings and lying back with your mouth open is all compounded with the anxieties of kids with more special needs. Kids like my sons. Kids like my younger son, in particular.

The first time he needed cavities filled (six!!), he panicked. He fixated. He refused to open his mouth and thrashed about and would not even do it for all the things I kept promising him he could have.

(You wait, non-parents: when an entire dentist’s office is getting more and more frustrated, just wait and see what size of free ice cream cone you will offer.)

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Because of that, my son’s first experience with fillings was one he did not experience. We paid extra for a pediatric anesthesiologist to sedate him. (By the way, the guy who came and did that for us recommends it as a great career. He goes around from office to office and only has to monitor relatively healthy children instead of potentially obese adult patients in a high-stress hospital environment.)

But, I digress.

The next time my son needed dental work I was naturally anxious. We couldn’t afford to put him under every time, nor did I think that was good for him. Fortunately, he did much better. He loved laughing gas. He loved the ice cream sundae afterwards.

Okay, okay: I bought him a popsicle.

Fast-forward to just last week. We needed to go to a new dentist. I chose one my neighbors had recommended as good for working with special needs kids. Despite doing well the last time we’d had fillings, I knew my son needed patient explanations. He needed reassurance and friendliness. If he were rushed into anything impatiently he would clam up and refuse to come back.

…And so I was somewhat fuming after the appointment.

Why? My son needs fillings. Again. The dentist wanted me to consider a “liquid relaxant” just before the next appointment. I refused. The dentist cited that my son had been “somewhat difficult” during the cleaning. He also used the word “frustrating” and that he was “not comfortable trying” the fillings without the recommended sedative.

I am morally against giving children a liquid sedativeI have a panic attack when I take Valium, and personally witnessed a young girl pee herself in the waiting room of yet another dentist’s office when my oldest son went for his first time. The poor girl’s mom was mortified and shocked. She told me her daughter was acting drunk and she didn’t know that was what the sedative could do.

Yes, I understand the position of the dentist. Yes, I know he can refuse service to anyone.

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But no, he cannot phrase things so that I feel pressured. No, if he’s that good at working with special needs, he cannot tell my son that he’s “difficult,” when they didn’t even tell him they were going to touch his sensitive tooth with a poky instrument.

I’m not an expert like Robyn or Gary, yet I know some things that should have been done:

  1. Extra time! Spend just a few extra seconds explaining things till he is comfortable to proceed.
  2. Sensory: provide sunglasses for the bright overhead light, and headphones so he can hear the movie and tune out the other noises.
  3. Knowledge: let him handle the tools (when possible) and explain what they do before sticking them in his mouth.
  4. Explanation: tell him what the sucker does and how it feels. Say, “This is a toothbrush. Here, give me your finger and feel how it spins around.”
  5. Provide a way to communicate and LISTEN: give him a sign to lift up when he wants to talk. Stop all activity until you address his needs.
  6. Sensory in terms of tastes and textures: provide a variety of flavors for toothpaste and allow him to taste a bit of one.
  7. Fun: have a friendly and engaging office, maybe with toys or a movie.
  8. Love!! Everything you say needs to be friendly and relaxed, not terse and impatient.

Out of all of those options, they did about two-and-a-half. In terms of a dental scorecard for working with special needs, that leaves them with 31%. Last time I checked, that is not high enough to pass dental school.

Given that, one might think I am ready to write this place off. I’m not. Everyone is human, even dentists. Instead, I plan to meet with the dentist and bring this list along. I plan to see if they can change and adjust. After that, if they are still not willing to work with us, we most definitely will look elsewhere.

…Which is another thing I’ve learned as a mother of children with special needs: I need to be their advocate. I need to speak up for them and tell their caregivers what’s what. Otherwise, we’re all set up for failure; and no one wants that.

 

Photo Credit:
Pexels
Image by renatalferro from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Big Announcement

I announced this over at my main blog, to my family, and even to a sweet deli counter worker at Smith’s who totally understood why I was miserably ordering a fried chicken strip: I am expecting a baby.

This is the most recent picture of little Skeletor.

Baby

I am about 12 weeks along and the baby always looks great on ultrasounds -which I’ve had five of. Problem is, I’ve also had some bleeding due to a chorionic hematoma or two. The more you learn, right?

So, sorry about the intermittent postings on this blog. I’ve been sick. Like; sick, sick, sick. Then I’ve been on bed rest.

We find out what sort of creature we’re having in about a month. Who thinks it’s yet another boy?

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Sunday, June 9: “A Bona Fide Reason to Cook with Your Kids.” Despite knowing that teaching cooking and baking would prove useful in my children’s lives, I was happily surprised to have it come to fruition.

Monday, June 10: Wrote a poem titled, “Boy Mom Bathroom Haiku.”

Tuesday, June 11: Shared a quote by Sue Atkins.

Wednesday, June 12: Shhh! Whispered my top-secret flour-measuring method in a second Baking Tip.

Thursday, June 13: “Do As I Say But Not As I Do,” a quick thought about the slight hypocrisy of parental advice.

Friday, June 14: Embraced the mess in “Rainy Days and Mondays Don’t Have to Get You Down.”

Saturday, June 15: Shared Marissa‘s tweet about Daniel Tiger’s accuracy.

Sunday, June 16: That’s today!

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens
After all, I made him/her. You know, with help.